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Scouts retire US Flags on Flag Day 2009

The Glacier Ridge District of the Greater Cleveland Council, Boy Scouts of America, conducted the 18th annual flag retirement ceremony at Lake View Cemetery on Flag Day, June 14, 2009.

Flag Day 2009 Glacier Ridge Cleveland Boy Scouts

Scouts and adult leaders from Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, University Heights, South Euclid, Mayfield, Euclid, Richmond Heights and other communities comprising the Glacier Ridge District participated.

A section of the Boy Scout handbook discusses the rules of the US Flag Code for properly disposing of the American Flag. The code states that "The flag represents a living country, and is itself considered a living thing."

Some of the large quantity of US flags collected to be respectfully retired on Flag Day

Table of US flags collected to be respectfully retired on Flag Day


A large pile of flags was collected from malls, schools, businesses and homes. Max Doss began the ceremony by saluting the Scouts and announcing "begin the Retirement Ceremony." Doss supervised the respectful retirement of the flags.

Scouts cut the US flag for proper retirement

The Scouts cut the flag into two pieces along the edge of the blue field of stars. Then the blue filed was cut put from the upper stripes. At that point, it is no longer officially a flag.

Scouts saluting to retire US flag on Flag Day Cleveland 2009

The pieces were folded and delivered to Max Doss or one of the other adults with a salute and tribute such as "I request permission to retire this flag." The salute was returned and the leader said "Permission granted" before placing the cloth in one of the fires.

Scouts saluting to retire US flag on Flag Day Cleveland 2009

The following day the cooled ashes will be placed in a grave vault at Lake View Cemetery.

Vault at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland Ohio where the flag ashes are placed

Vault at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland Ohio where the flag ashes are placed


The ceremony is free and open to the public and a wonderful way to spend part of Flag Day each year. It is heartening to see the respect that the Scouts show for the flag.

Cub scout with flag

If your flag is becoming frayed and needs to be replaced, get the old flag to a Scout or save it and drop it off at next year's ceremony.




Watch this short video to see more of the 2009 Flag Day retirement ceremony by the Glacier Ridge Scouts
at Lake View Cemetery

More photos from Flag Day 2009


Terry Byrne and son George


Boy Scouts cutting US flag for retirement


The fires where US flags are burned


Webelos George Byrne


Girl Scouts retiring US flags


Scouts cut the US flag


Permission to retire the flag


Scouts cutting the US flag


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